Stepparent Asks Whether The Were a Jerk For Making Stepson Clean Gross Bathroom

Listen, no one said that parenting was going to be a bed of roses. If someone did try to sell you that line, I don’t know…you might be entitled to compensation.

But only for the first kid. After that you knew what you were getting into.

For this man, he got into the job through marriage, but that doesn’t mean anyone pulls any punches – especially not his 11yo stepson, who messes up the toilet and then expects the adults to clean it up.

Quick (and dirty) one for you Reddit.

My 11 year old stepson has this wild habit of just absolutely blowing up poo-bombing the only toilet in the house every time he has to drop the kids off at the pool s*%t.

Historically, myself or whoever uses the restroom after him has gotten out the bowl cleaner and toilet brush and given it the old one-two ourselves.

Recently, the stepdad has decided 11 is old enough to start learning how to clean up after yourself, and after checking with the biological dad, they agreed a few lessons weren’t a bad idea.

Recently I figured he’s old enough to start tidying up after himself in that department. He’s getting bigger which means other things are getting bigger too and it’s reached a point that I feel is worth chatting about. He finds it funny AND gross but hasn’t (thankfully) developed any embarrassment or anything around his bathroom habits.

I checked in with hubs (bio dad) who gave me the all clear to start showing the little bloke how to take care of himself and the facilities.

He took the kid into the bathroom, advised him on how to make less of a mess in the first place, and then showed him the ropes of cleaning the bowl.

He wasn’t thrilled, but OP figured no one is happy about cleaning up poop.

I started him off with some preventative strategies (like laying a bit of TP down before he sits down for the job) and then showed him (with an already clean toilet) how to spray in the cleaner and scrub the porcelain clean.

He didn’t love the tutorial, but I told him we could do it together the first couple times until he got the hang of it himself.

Then, after three poops in a row, he outright refused to even try on his own, stating that was the sort of things adults were supposed to do for the kids in their lives.

The last three explosions and the subsequent mess have resulted in an outright refusal by him to help clean or allow me to show him how to take care of the s*%tstorm.

He says it’s too gross and that parents are supposed to do these things for their kids.

Threats and punishments were doled out but aren’t having a whole lot of impact.

Here’s where I might be the asshole: I doled out a consequence the last time. I told him he was welcome to come with me to the restroom and I’d show him how to clean it up again, or we’d need to do a screen free day (normal consequence in our home).

I do not want to be in a power struggle with a fifth grader, but this issue is pretty close to a hill I’m willing to die on. Dad continues to support me, but did suggest he might be a bit young to be expecting this level of buy in to scrubbing the loo.

The stepson still thinks he’s being unreasonable but the adults aren’t so sure – maybe he’s just not old enough, but then again, maybe he is.

My stepson thinks I’m an asshole for having this expectation of him- am I? Should I just let it go until he naturally wants to start tidying up after himself in the bathroom? How young is too young for toilet cleaning duty?

We live in Australia and have low flow water toilets. The young man is NOT having explosive diarrhoea every time he goes to the bathroom + mum and dad are on top of his health.

What does Reddit think? Of course they’re going to tell us!

The top comment points out that not only is 11 old enough to begin cleaning up after yourself, but that no one likes cleaning toilets. We just do it.

Image Credit: Reddit

And yeah, when it comes to parenting, be prepared to butt some heads.

Image Credit: Reddit

It’s just part of living with other people. You know, like in a society.

Image Credit: Reddit

This person suggested maybe letting bio dad (or mom) take the lead so OP doesn’t end up the monster.

Image Credit: Reddit

The kid is definitely capable, so that’s not the issue.

Image Credit: Reddit

I think OP is on the right track here, but it seems like, given the kid’s personality, that it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Any parents of older kids want to weigh in on what worked for them? We’re listening in the comments!